By Craig Turnbull
Peter Pawlett admits this season has been a missed opportunity for Aberdeen but believes it’s given them the confidence to push Celtic all the way next year.
The Dons title challenge faded towards the end of the season after defeats away to Hearts, Motherwell and St Johnstone scuppered any chance of pipping Celtic to the title.
Nevertheless, despite their shortcomings this term and, with Hearts and Rangers strengthening, Pawlett insists the Dons can be the sustained challengers to Celtic’s throne.
“We believe it. We know the league is going to be stronger definitely but we’re confident that we can maintain that challenge again and push all the way,” he said.
“We’ve been up there now for the past couple of seasons and we are starting to get closer and closer to them.
“The confidence is building around the club and the players are starting to believe more.
“I think we realise that this season was a missed opportunity for us but the confidence is still there to go on and maintain that challenge in the future.”
Pawlett is going into the final year of his contract and, after a season which has been hampered by injury, the 25-year-old admits next term is a hugely important campaign personally.
“I think the next season is always the most important if you’ve got three years left on your contract or a year,” he said.
“I want to push on and get in the team week-in, week-out that’s the main aim for me.”